(By Judy Keen | USA Today)
Cities are considering a restriction on energy drinks because recent studies show they are tied to health risks.
CHICAGO — Is it time to start hoarding 5-hour Energy?
Health concerns are prompting proposals to restrict the sale of highly caffeinated energy drinks.
Chicago Alderman Ed Burke last month introduced an ordinance that would ban the sale of energy drinks that contain 180 milligrams of caffeine and two other substances. That would end sales of many 24-ounce energy drinks.
A hearing on Burke’s proposal has not been scheduled, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel has not said whether he supports it.
“This is an issue that’s starting to resonate around the country,” Burke, a Democrat, says.
His concern was prompted by a study for the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration that found the number of emergency room visits involving the drinks rose from about 10,000 in 2007 to more than 20,000 in 2011. The study said energy drinks can cause insomnia, fast heartbeat and seizures.
Tim Bramlet, executive director of the Illinois Beverage Association, says the industry doesn’t think research suggests the products should be banned. “We contend that, used in moderation, they are safe for consumption,” he says.